With a rough start to the NHL season, the Buffalo Sabres have reportedly traded Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson and multiple draft picks.
John Vogl from The Buffalo News gave the details of this big trade, explaining that the Islanders will also be giving up a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-round pick in 2015.
Sabres confirm that they have traded Thomas Vanek to the Islanders for Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in 2014 and a 2nd-rounder in 2015.— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) October 28, 2013
The Sabres PR Twitter account confirmed the trade.
Sabres GM Darcy Regier announces the team has acquired Matt Moulson and draft picks from the NY Islanders in exchange for Thomas Vanek.— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) October 28, 2013
UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 3:50 p.m. ET
From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
Another wrinkle in the Vanek deal: if the 1st round pick NYI sent Buff ends up top 10 in June, Isles have option to defer the pick to 2015— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) October 29, 2013
UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 11:45 a.m. ET
From TSN's Darren Dreger:
As per @TSNBobMcKenzie Buf retains roughly $1.4 mil of Vanek's salary. Sabres offered Vanek to Toronto along with willingness to eat salary.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 29, 2013
Vanek offer to Leafs was made 3-4 days ago, but, told there was no deal to be made.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 29, 2013
---End of update---
UPDATE: Monday, Oct. 28, at 3 p.m. ET
Brian Compton of NHL.com provides a statement from Thomas Vanek:
"It's been a long 14 hours, or whatever it is," Vanek told reporters after participating in his first practice with his new teammates. "It's obviously a shock. I'm not surprised. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later with the situation in Buffalo. Obviously when it does happen, initially you're shocked.
"I'm excited to come here. They have a great, young team, up-tempo style. I'm looking forward to it."
As expected, Islanders coach Jack Capuano has placed Vanek on the top line with Tavares and right wing Kyle Okposo. It's certainly a tremendous opportunity for Vanek, who has 254 goals and 243 assists in 598 games.
John Vogl of The Buffalo News reports the Sabres were willing to make Vanek the highest-paid player in the league:
Thomas Vanek could have been paid handsomely to stay in Buffalo. A source, in fact, says the Sabres were willing to make him the highest-paid player in the NHL.
---End of update---
Sabres GM Darcy Regier commented on the transaction:
#Sabres GM Darcy Regier: "I'd like to start by thanking Thomas for the contributions he's made to our organization."— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 28, 2013
Regier on Moulson: "He's a very good player." He helps address our needs. #Sabres— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 28, 2013
Regier: "I believe this will help improve our hockey club going forward." #Sabres— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 28, 2013
Regier: "I don't love where we are, I like what we're doing and believe in the direction we're going." #Sabres— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 28, 2013
Regier: "You have to believe in what you're doing." Working w/ ownership, scouting staff, others internally on plan to improve team. #Sabres— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 28, 2013
Islanders GM Garth Snow also spoke about the big move via Arthur Staple of Newsday:
#Isles GM Snow: "I didn't like the way we’d been playing. We’re better than our record indicates and we need to take the next step."— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 28, 2013
More Snow: "Thomas is an elite player in this league and he’ll help us now and in the future." Snow says no contract talks yet with Vanek.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 28, 2013
Snow: "I can tell you I’m not happy with where we are record-wise. We’re better than this. I wasn’t going to sit by and let games pass."— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 28, 2013
Moulson talked about getting traded via Katie Strang of ESPN.com:
#Isles Just spoke with Matt Moulson "I was surprised...I thought this could be a possibility but I didn't think this was going to happen."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) October 28, 2013
#Isles Moulson: "I guess this is what happens in pro sports. I gotta move on. I'll obviously miss everyone, but this will be a new chapter."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) October 28, 2013
After going 39-32-11 during the 2010-2011 season, the Sabres slid to 21-21-6 last year and are now 2-10-1 to start this season. It's clear they are starting to slide, and they need to rebuild for the future.
For the Islanders, they're 4-4-3 to start the year, needing a strong player to push them over the hump. As Chris Botta from SportsBusinessDaily.com points out, this trade is certainly a win for the Islanders, considering Moulson will be a free agent after this season.
Easy win for #Isles and Garth Snow. A pending UFA (Moulson), a 15th-25th overall pick and a 2nd rounder for Vanek. No downside.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) October 28, 2013
Vanek will be a good fit for the Islanders. The left winger already has four goals and five assists through 13 games, and he's put up some strong seasons over the years. He was on a tear during the strike-shortened season, grabbing 20 goals and 21 assists in just 38 games.
Bob McKenzie from TSN provided this quote from Vanek's agent.
Vanek's agent Stephen Bartlett said his client is "excited to be an Islander," but no contract extension is part of the trade.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 28, 2013
It appears to be a win-win scenario for the two teams, but we will be focusing more on Vanek as he gets a chance to become an even more exciting player in the NHL as he moves to New York.